Is Jeff Koons ‘Seated Ballerina’ A Copy of This Ukrainian Sculpture?

By Kitty Jackson - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Is Jeff Koons ‘Seated Ballerina’ A Copy of This Ukrainian Sculpture?

Jeff Koons latest installation at the Rockefeller Centre features a 45 foot high inflatable ballerina that bears as striking resemblance to a little known work from Ukrainian sculptor Oksana Zhnikrup. Koons received praise and admiration on May 12th, 2017 when he released a 45 foot inflatable version of his ‘Seated Ballerina’ sculpture at Rockefeller Centre in New York, but Artdependence can reveal that the work bears several similarities to a work known as ‘Ballerina Lenochka’ from the artist Oksana Zhnikrup and the The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory.

Is Jeff Koons ‘Seated Ballerina’ A Copy of This Ukrainian Sculpture?

Jeff Koons latest installation at the Rockefeller Centre features a 45 foot high inflatable ballerina that bears as striking resemblance to a little known work from Ukrainian sculptor Oksana Zhnikrup. 

Koons received praise and admiration on May 12th, 2017 when he released a 45 foot inflatable version of his ‘Seated Ballerina’ sculpture at Rockefeller Centre in New York, but Artdependence can reveal that the work bears several similarities to a work known as ‘Ballerina Lenochka’ from the artist Oksana Zhnikrup and the The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory.

Koons new inflatable sculpture is based on an earlier work by the same name from his own collection. The earlier piece was released in 2015 and is made from mirror-polished stainless steel. The larger, inflatable version was released on May 12th this year and was created from nylon.

Both works feature a blond-haired ballerina in a blue tutu dress sitting on a pink stall and reaching to adjust her blue ballet shoes – details which bear a striking resemblance to the 19cm porcelain model created by Zhnikrup.

Oksana Zhnikrup was a Ukrainian sculptor and painter and a member of the Union of Artists of Ukraine. She was born in 1931 in the city of Chita and studied at the Sculpture Department of the Odessa Art College before working at the Baranovksy Porcelain Factory. In 1955 she took a job as a sculptor at The Kiev Experimental Ceramic-Art Factory where she created a number of works, many of them featuring female characters and including ‘Balerina Lenochka. She passed away in 1993. Her works have appeared at the Republican Exhibitions of Decorative Art and in international exhibitions in Chicago, Zagreb, Turkey and Canada. Several of her sculptures are kept in the National Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Arts.

Jeff Koons is an American artist who has been referred to as ‘The World’s Most Expensive Artist’ after his work achieved a world record price at auction. His work often features references to modern pop culture and his pieces have been exhibited around the world.

Oksana Zhnikrup (1931-1993), Ballerina Lenochka. Source.

Jeff Koons, ‘Seated Ballerina'. Source.

The ‘Seated Ballerina’ is the third piece of work by Koons to be exhibited in the Rockefeller Centre. He has previously exhibited ‘Puppy’ in 1992 and ‘Split-Rocker’ in 2000.

So far, Gagosian Gallery, representing the artist, has not commented on the resemblance between his work and that of Zhnikrup. 

Kitty Jackson has worked as an arts journalist and writer for more than 10 years. She began her career as an Editorial Assistant at WhatsOnStage.com before moving to IdeasTap to become Assistant Editor. After four years Kitty moved towards digital content and began working with leading PR firm PHA Media, helping them to establish a digital department before moving to iProspect, where she was embedded within the digital content team creating content for leading brands including The Body Shop, Thomas Cook and British Gas. Kitty is now excited to return to the world of arts journalism at ArtDependence.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Image of the Day

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Search

About ArtDependence

ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.

ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.

The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.

If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.